HCST Food and Music Heritage Cookbook

The Culinary Arts department and the Rock and Roll as Literature class teamed up to develop a HCST Food and Music Heritage Cookbook. The Cookbook highlights the students’ favorite cultural dish and makes connections to a song or musician that compliments the cuisine. The cookbook is the brainchild of Chef Turro and Mr. Bob Dillon: “I was talking with Mr. Dillon about his Rock and Roll literature class and how food and music have always gone together,” explained Chef Turro, who is also a musician.

Mr. Dillon added: “Whenever Chef Turro mentioned a dish, I was ready to have a song or musician that immediately complemented that dish. We thought it would make an excellent project for the students.” The HCST Food and Music Heritage Cookbook project is based on the materials the Culinary Arts Department and the Rock and Roll as Literature are covering in class. The project focused on the origins of food and music influenced in America by highlighting African, Cajun, Caribbean, and the Gullah
Geechee communities. The students were instructed to research foods that might be similar to their own heritage and culture. The student explored why that dish was important to their family and how it reflected their own traditions.

The student then researched a song that emphasized the dish or artist that is unique to their culture. For example: If your heritage and culture is Cuban you might want to compare and contrast Aropa Vieja (a Cuban dish of shredded beef stewed in a tomato-based sauce) with its origins and how it might be similar or directly related to an African Food by ingredients, historical significance, cultivating technique etc. For the music portion; perhaps Celia Cruz might be the artist you may use citing s rhythm style, structure or
instrument comparison that connects.

“I liked being able to explore my heritage, especially through music because I don't know a whole lot about Bengali music,” said Senior Radha Rench.

Daniella Figueroa exclaimed: “I thought this project was super fun and different from anything I’ve ever had to work on! It allowed me to dive deeper into my heritage's food and culture. I learned things I never knew about too! Overall I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed working on it!”

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